By Chris Paul
The Pinkerton Academy School Football team suffered its final loss of the fall season to their cross-town rivals at Londonderry High School on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 6.
The Lancers were able to score in each of the four quarters that afternoon and The Astros could only score twice. The quarterfinal game finished with a 25-13 win by LHS despite being called for 13 penalties resulting in a total loss of 90-yards.
The LHS squad will now move on to the semifinals against the only team they lost to this season. The Salem High School Blue Devils won their quarterfinal match-up with Bishop Guertin by scoring a staggering 61-points, at home, Saturday night.
Londonderry kept the Astros scoreless in the first quarter, forcing a three-and-out in the first PA drive to start the game. A rushed Pinkerton punt put Londonderry at the midfield point to start their day.
In the Lancers second play of the game, junior Andrew Kullman had a 33-yard touchdown run but was called back for a holding penalty. Two more penalties followed in the opening LHS drive and despite the infractions the Lancers marched down to the nine-yard line, where junior quarterback Drew Heenan ran in for the touchdown. Junior LHS kicker Dylan Wrisley missed on the extra point and the Lancers led 6-0.
Another PA drive was stopped quickly by the Londonderry defense, despite a long kick return by Pinkerton junior Jacob Albert.
The Astros fourth down attempt was foiled by a Hayden Austen tackle in the backfield for a loss, giving LHS the ball at their own 33-yardline.
After another holding penalty interrupted their second drive the Lancers Heenan and Kullman combined for a huge passing play with 1:22 left in the opening quarter, Heenan completed a 61-yard unobstructed pass down the middle of the field to Kullman for the second touchdown of the game. The point after attempt by Wrisley was good this time for the 13-0 LHS lead.
Pinkerton had a good drive to end the first quarter and to begin the second, cutting their deficit to six-points. PA quarterback Nathan Campos completed a 13-yard pass to Logan Gokey to start the second with a TD and Picasso Bates kicked the extra point to put the game at 13-7.
Pinkerton was able to keep LHS out of the end zone in the following drive, in part by more penalties against the Londonderry offense and also with a foiled fourth down pass attempt in the end zone broken up by sophomore Caden Michaud.
The Londonderry defense kept PA to minimal yardage in their next drive and got the ball back at their own 35-yard line with about three-minutes in the half.
Sophomore Jake Schena started that drive with a 65-yard touchdown run that was called back for a block in the back penalty.
Another pass completion from Heenan to Kullman, this time on third down and ten, resulted in a 65-yard touchdown at 1:15 in the second. Wrisley capped off the scoring in the first half with the extra point for a 20-7 Lancer lead despite nine LHS penalties.
The Pinkerton defense tightened up after the break and only gave up five points in the second half.
The first was a 23-yard field goal by Wrisly giving LHS a 23-7 lead in the third.
The Astros got the score to within 10-points to end the third quarter with a 52-yard touchdown run from Albert.
The Lancers only other points came from their defense, foiling an Albert pass attempt out of the end zone with a Michael Sampson tackle for a two-point safety.
Londonderry had 361-yards of total offense in the game and PA was held to just 230, 189 of those yards came through the air for Londonderry.
Pinkerton quarterback Nathan had 53-yards passing in six attempts and Albert ran for 53-yards in seven tries. Jack Mackierman ran for 18 yards in five plays, while Cole Yannaco carried the ball nine times for 18-yrads.
With the win, Londonderry will host a semifinal game against Salem on Saturday starting at 1 p.m.
Londonderry lost to the Blue Devils 35-21 in Salem on Oct. 22, in part, due to five turnovers by interceptions and hope to correct that and the penalty issues they had in the quarterfinal win.